Louis Robidoux

Louis Robidoux

Florissant, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
Death 24 Sep 1868 (aged 72)
San Bernardino County, California, USA
Burial Colton, San Bernardino County, California, USA
Memorial ID 28739125 View Source
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Louis Robidoux Sr.'s parents were:
Joseph Robidoux III, b. Feb. 12, 1750 in Sault-au-Récollet, Quebec, Canada and d. Mar. 16, 1809 in St. Louis, MO. &
Catherine Marie Rollet, b. 1767 and d. 1798

On Sep. 21, 1782, Joseph married Catherine Marie Rollet .

Joseph and Catherine Robidoux had nine children, eight of whom lived to adulthood:
1. Joseph Robidoux IV, b. Aug. 10, 1783 in Saint Louis, St. Louis City, MO. and d. May 27, 1868 in Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, MO. Joseph was known as the founder for his role in the establishment of St. Joseph, MO.
2. Francis/François Robidoux, b. 1785 in Saint Louis, St. Louis County, MO. and d. 1857 on the plains in NE. Francis was an early explorer of California.
3. Pierre Isadore Robidoux, b. 1791 and d. May 30, 1852 of cholera and was buried along the Oregon Trail.
4. Antoine Robidoux, b. 1791 (1794) in Saint Louis, St. Louis County, MO. and d. 1860 in Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, MO. Antoine was an early settler of Santa Fe, NM.
5. Louis Robidoux, b. Jul. 31, 1796 in Florissant, St. Louis county, MO. and d. Sep. 24, 1868 in San Bernardino county, CA. Louis was the founder of Riverside, CA. and the first San Bernardino County Supervisor.
6. Michael Robidoux, b. 1798 and d. 1858.
7. Eulalie Robidoux, b. 1800 and d. 1818.
8. Marie Pelagie Robidoux, b. 1800 and d. 1872.

There is a biography for Louis Robidoux at Wikipedia:

City of Rubidoux, CA., Louis Rubidoux Library, Streets, and Mount Rubidoux are named after him.

The spelling of the name varies, Clyde M. Rabideau says, in 70 different ways.

One of the area's first white landowners. Fluent in several languages and very intelligent. He reportedly won $30,000 in a card game in Santa Fe, New Mexico that bankrolled his venture to California, where he set up one of the largest livestock operations and planted orchards, vineyards (wine making), the first grist mill for grinding wheat into flour, perfume making, and grain crops.
His father, a merchant, helped outfit the Lewis and Clark Expedition from his store in St.Louis. In 1860, he was the highest paying taxpayer in California, paying for several thousand acres, horses and wagons.

In 1834, Louis Robidoux and Guadalupe Garcia were married. They raised 10 children;
1.Catarina/Catalina Rubidoux Peralta(1835-1914)
2.Jose Luis"Lucito"/Louis Rubidoux(1837-1928)
3.Pasquale Baillon Rubidoux(1838-1926)
4.Maria Del Carmen Rubidoux Palomares Estudillo(1844-1873)
5.Adelaida Rubidoux Valdez Estudillo(1848-1924)
6.Maria Benigna/Benina Rubidoux Trujillo(1853-1898)
7.Abundo Rubidoux(1851-1928)
8.Frederick Rubidoux(1865-1932)
9.Maria Rubidoux Espinosa(1855-1894)
10.Mariano Rubidoux(1842-1845), who died at age 3, crossing the desert between New Mexico and California.

Rubidoux is spelled many ways. On his headstone, it is spelled Robidoux. The city named for his Rancho Rubidoux, also named the little mountain he lived at the bottom of Mt. Rubidoux. Streets and the library in Riverside County are named for him as well.

In the 1860 U. S. census, 65 yr. old Louis Robidoux, a farmer, b. in MO., was living in San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA. with his
45 yr. old (inferred) wife, Guadalupa (Guadalupe) G Robidoux, b. in NM.
22 yr. old (inferred) son, Louis Robidoux, b. in NM.
15 yr. old (inferred) daughter, Carmel H Robidoux, attending school, b. in CA.
13 yr. old (inferred) daughter, Alice Robidoux, attending school, b. in CA.
11 yr. old (inferred) daughter (listed as male), Benigno Robidoux, attending school, b. in CA.
9 yr. old (inferred) son, Abundo Robidoux, attending school, b. in CA.
20 yr. old (inferred) son, Pascal Robidoux, b. in NM.
30 yr. old Felix Le Craw (La Croix?), a herder, b. in France
40 yr. old John Le Long, a gardener, b. in France
18 yr. old Antonio Le Long, a cook, b. in CA.
Louis' real estate was valued at $50,000 and his personal estate at $20,000.

The Colton Courier (Colton, CA.), P. 4, Col. 2
Wed., Jul. 21, 1915
Should Spell It "Robidoux"
Louis Robidoux of Kansas City, a member of the famous family of that name and for whom Riverside's scenic mountain is named, told the Mission City people that the spelling of the name slightly erred. Said Mr. Robidoux after being shown the sights of the city:
"I have only one criticism to make, and that is the way the name "Robidoux" is spelled here. "Rubidoux" is not the proper way. The correct way is Robidoux. An investigation of your records in the former county seat, San Bernardino will show the the old gentleman himself signed the name 'Robidoux.'"

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, CA.), P. 12, Col. 3
Tue., Aug. 3, 1915
An interesting reunion of three grandsons of three brothers of the old French family of Robideau was held at Old Faithful Inn last week, the first meeting of the descendants who have lived in different parts of the United States. They are Louis Robidoux of Kansas City, Michael Robidoux of Kansas City, Michael Robidoux Estudillo of Riverside and Joseph Robidoux Kathrens of San Francisco. With their wives, they dined at Old faithful Inn and the occasion was most enjoyable.
In their day the forebears of the exposition party were interpreters for the California conquerors - Louis Robidoux the elder for General Fremont,
and Antonio (Antoine) Robidoux for General Kearney.
They came to California in 1844 and were identified with the early history of the state. Mount Robidoux (Rubidoux) at Riverside is named in honor of the French traders, of whose name the spelling has been slightly changed.

The San Bernardino Daily Sun (San Bernardino, CA.), P. 2, Col. 5
Fri., Aug. 13, 1915
Son of Louis Rubidoux Says Father Sold Riverside 50 Cents an Acre
Back into the days when great land barons, the owners of Spanish and Mexican grants, ruled Southern California, yesterday went the testimony in the Riverside-San Bernardino water suit.
It was the opening of the defense of the city of Riverside, and as San Bernardino nine weeks ago did, that city is opening with a historical recital.
Abundo Rubidoux, youngest son of Louis Rubidoux, who once owned all of the land on which is now built Riverside and on which now stretch thousands of acres of orange groves, was the first witness. His father, a Frenchman, in 1847, bought what in 1838 was the great grant to Don Juan Bandini. Rubidoux battled with the Americans in the war for California's independence, and fought against the great Spanish landowners.
How his father sold land on the "old mesa" which is Riverside, for 50 cents an acre, was told by Rubidoux, who was born 61 years ago in what is now West Riverside, which is still his home. Rubidoux told of the water conditions as he remembered them as a boy.

The Oakland Tribune (Oakland, CA.), P. 72, Col. 4
Sun., Jul. 8, 1928
The Name Rubidoux
If there were will and way to honor the living reminders of the pioneers, their descendants, as we do the landmarks which speak of their stories, Louis Rubidoux (Jr.), surely, would not have died in the poor house. Down by Riverside, his is a name written deeply in history. It adorns a mountain. Louis, senior, of a family which settled St. Louis in 1791, arrived in California as the State's first colonizer. General John C. Fremont and General Kearney stopped at his hospitable home and his acres numbered more than 250,000. A bronze tablet reminds a modern age of the old hacienda on the banks of the Santa Ana, the home of the Louis Rubidoux who came to California in 1840 with John Bidwell and became owner of an estate which extended over what is now parts of San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside counties. He lived by the side of a mountain which bears his name and appears annually in the prints as the scene of Easter observances. Louis Rubidoux, Junior, for two years an inmate of the poor house in a county which was once but a part of his father's place, has passed away. No one knows much of his story.

Evening Vanguard (Venice, CA.), P. 12, Col. 1-4
Tue., Aug. 6, 1963
Excerpt from: Progressive Riverside Lures Motorlog Party
Then in 1838 Juan Bandini received a land grant of 30,800 acres from Gov. Alvarado and established the Jurupa Rancho in this area. Bandini built his headquarters eight miles down the river from Mt. Rubidoux. Benjamin Wilson became his managing agent. Wilson married Ramona Yorba and purchased a part of Bandini's holdings. He later became an early alcalde of the pueblo of Los Angeles. Mt. Wilson, an astronomical and TV center, was named after him. His grandson, the late Gen. George S. Patton, gained fame in World War II, as a great tank expert.
In 1847, Louis Rubidoux bought a part of the Jurupa Rancho and established his home on the west bank of the river. After his death in 1848 (1868), his widow and children sold what remained of the rancho to Thomas Cover for a proposed silk colony, which failed to materialize. Finally in 1883, Riverside became a city.

The Sun-Telegram (San Bernardino, CA.), P. 19, Col. 1-7
Sun., Sep. 14, 1958
Excerpt from:Water, Grave of Robidoux Alter Scene
Editor's Note: The current spelling of "Rubidoux" evolved from a quirk in the penmanship of Louis Rubidoux, scholars agree. His letter "o"s were open at the top, and were mistaken for "u"s, hence the spelling "Rubidoux."
Article #2: Does Ghost of Robidoux Still Walk?
Only scattered tumbleweeds now dot the hills of the Agua Mansa Cemetery, where a great thicket once all but obscured time-worn gravestones.
But there are those who still say that when the moon is full and the wind moans gently through the swaying Eucalyptus trees that the ghost of Louis Rubidoux still walks, guarding his gold.
History books say he died nearly penniless following the great flood of 1862 and the long drought that followed. But some in the Rubidoux area (formerly West Riverside) were not convinced.
Some still remember the stories told around the roaring fires of the men who had met the ghost face to face.
The story, almost a legend now, was that Rubidoux had buried his gold in Rattlesnake Mountain, which lies some three miles south of the cemetery.
And from time to time there were reported that some had dug for the gold always unsuccessfully, but certainly not without incident.
One man, who reportedly did a bit of spade work on the mountain, claimed that Robidoux would not let him rest, because of the search.'He said he could hear him down in the hollow at night, rattling his chains.
Bit it was a friend of his that had the proof. According to the story, he and another man had set out on a fortune-hunting trip with the id of a map.
In the midst of his digging, the friend said he felt there was someone behind him. And turning he saw what he believed was Robidoux - a tall man dressed in a black tie, velvet vest and heavy black coat. The friend passed out and after being revived by his helper decided to abandon the expedition. The helper said he saw nothing.
There was another story making the rounds, of a motorist driving through the fog on Agua Mansa Rd. late one night. Starting up the hill near the cemetery and attempting to peer through the mist, he suddenly saw a man before him. It was too late to stop. The car rammed the figure, but the driver felt nothing. The man before him suddenly disintegrated and faded back over the car.
History books say Robidoux was born in 1791 and died in 1868.
They say at one time he was probably the wealthiest man in San Bernardino County. The County assessment of rolls of 1854 showed that his property was assessed at more than $20,000, a fabulous sum for that time.
Hunting, trapping and trading, everything he did seemed successful. He married into a rich New Mexico family. And after coming to this area to stay in 1840 he probably was the Southland's first colonizer, selling small farms to those who would cultivate them.
He built the first Southern California flour mill and when the gold rush came in 1849 he drove cattle north and sold them to the miners for food.
But then came the big flood which ruined much of his land and the drought followed, wiping out most of his cattle. Following his death most of his property was divided and sold with the final sale being made to the Silk Center Assn. and finally the Southern California's Colony Assn.
Perhaps now with green lawns to replace the barren and tumbled down atmosphere, the legend will gradually to the way of the thicket.

Daily Redlands Facts (Redlands, CA.), P. 20, Col. 2
Wed., Dec. 10, 1969
Excerpt from: With a Grain of Salt
In the Mexican Ranch era of our valley, it took a tough hombre to stick it out. Raiding Indians drove off herds of cattle. Marauding outlaws brought terror.
The Lugo boys couldn't take it. They sold the Rancho San Bernardino to the Mormons and went back to the safety of Los Angeles. Later, Jose del Carmen Lugo exclaimed he left: "to end the constant, daily threat to my life."
Louis Rubidoux, who lived downstream on the Santa Ana river, near present day Riverside, was of sterner stuff. He stuck it out to the end and that is why his grave is at Agua Mania and has been recently discovered.
"Of French extraction, he was born in St. Louis, (MO.), the son of one of the pioneer merchants," the current Newsletter of the County Museum reports. "He went to New Mexico in 1830 and came to California in 1844, purchasing part of the Jurupa Rancho."
He also acquired San Timoteo canyon property, southeast of Redlands, including the site of El Casco.
When San Bernardino County had its first Board of Supervisors in the mid-1850's, Rubidoux was the chairman. The other two members, who were Mormons, let him have the honor, confident that they could outvote him if they had to.
Later he fell out with the Mormons and was engaged in violent controversy with them. But he lived out his years until 1868 when he was buried at the now historic Agua Mansa Cemetery overlooking the Santa Ana River between Colton and Riverside.
Concluding a chapter in their definitive history of this Region - "Heritage of the Valley" - George and Helen Beattie wrote:
"In the west end of the cemetery on the hill overlooking the Jurupa Valley lie the settlers and their children. ..Old Louis Robidoux and some of his children lie there also. Only a few of these graves can be identified today (1939), since a grass fire sweeping over the hillside destroyed the wooden markers that serve most of them in lieu of gravestones. No maps or records were kept to show their location - but the spirit of the past hovers over them.
Now the Museum letter reports:
"The grave of Louis Robidoux is at the foot of a pepper tree, right where his great-grandson, Alfred Rubidoux, always had said it is.
"Many have disagreed with Alfred, maintaining that the pepper trees (3 growing so closely together they appear as one) are too young to have lived when Louis Robidoux died in 1868.
"The grave is there," Alfred insisted. My grandfather used to stop his horse and wagon on the little hill. We would walk a little way, then he would hoist me over the picket fence around the plot so I could clear leaves and weeds from the grave.'
"Pauline and Lawrence Saunders, caretakers of Agua Mansa Cemetery, probed around the tree in vain. Then on November 8, Clara Royce, Mrs. Saunders' sister, probed the tree's very base. She struck something, and under three feet of sand the sisters found the rotted stump of an old pepper tree entangled in the roots of the living ones, which apparently are shoots from the tree that originally shaded the grave.
"Three of the fence corner posts also were found - two in place and one entangled in the roots and pulled out of position. Square nails were in the charred redwood posts, and the boards had a tar-like preservative on them.
Upon seeing the post marking the SE corner of the grave, Alfred Rubidoux exclaimed, 'That's it!' Further examination of the grave made him more positive."

The Sun-Telegram (San Bernardino, CA.), P. 21, Col. 5-6
Sun., Sep. 22, 1974
4 Generation Lineage 1796-1972
Auction Dates: Tues., Sept. 24 and Thurs., Sept. 26, Clark's Gellery, 5292 Mission Blvd., Rubidoux (W. Riverside)
The late Great-Grandson of LOUIS ROBIDOUX (Rubidoux), founder of Riverside County's oldest settlements (1847); personal possessions, very old memorabilia, historical nostalgia, early Rubidoux family apparel (1850's-1900's) and Antiques Nouveau has been consigned to Clark's Gallery for dispersal!
SPECIAL FEATURED ITEMS: Old Zither (Rubidoux family), Teakwood & Ivory Domino set, 1853 Bible, very old silverware, old wagon wheels, china & glassware, 4 generation family jewelry, old rancho farm implements, Louis Robidoux's grinding stone, Oak sentry;-chinas, Oak iceboxes, 1897 Sohmer & Co Piano, circa 1820 Victoria Sette w/matching chair, Bird's eye bedroom set, Art Nouveau lamps, Chinese mandarin coats, several Old Oriental silks, round Oak tables, slat barber's bench, numerous paintings, huge assortment of bric-a-brac, family linen, very old Victorian dresses, plumes, parasols, choice sets of pressed back chairs, 1890's lace works, Oak dressers (some w/mirrors), square Oak tables, French sofa & chair, Mahog table w/6 chairs, sewing cabinet, copper & iron pots, 51 pc. stemware, Oak hall seats, Rockers, Magnificent 8 pc. dining room ensemble, etc.

The Sun (San Bernardino, CA.), P. 29, Col. 1-4
Sat., Mar. 11, 1989
Excerpt from: Peel back history at Riverside museum
RIVERSIDE - Sometimes, it's easier to know where we're headed once we know where we've been.
"Times change and so do people and their ways. Museums remind us of how we were," said Riverside Municipal Museum director William G. Dougall.
Just as the San Bernardino Valley is a storehouse of history, so is its neighbor to the south, Riverside. A visit to the Riverside Municipal Museum can be the key that unlocks the door to the past.
In 1774, the Spanish explorer, Juan Bautista de Anza opened a land route through the area as he journeyed north toward Monterey. But some of the travelers stayed to settle the region. In fact, much of Riverside is on land that was granted by Mexico to Don Juan Bandini in 1838, according to a historical booklet available at the museum.
Known as the Jurupa Grant, it was the area's first rancho. The Louis Rubidoux family purchased land from Bandini in 1843 and began raising sheep. But floods followed by severe droughts forced the family to sell 8,600 acres in 1864 to a French nurseryman, Louis Prevost.
Dioramas at the museum depict construction of the first rancho by Indian laborers who completed the Louis Rubidoux Rancho.

The Colton Courier (Colton, CA.), P. 3, Col. 4-5
Thu., Apr. 12, 1962
Program Set Sunday For Louis Robidoux Memorial
A special program is planned Sunday when the Louis Robidoux historical marker will be unveiled and re-dedicated at the West Riverside Memorial Hall, 4393 Riverview Dr., Rubidoux, Calif.
The ceremony honoring Robidoux who was an early pioneer of this area, will include addresses by Robert Hunter, president of the Jurupa Chamber of Commerce, W. A. Sullivan, past district commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7799; Attorney George Miller, president of the Lion's Club; the Rev. Harold Dean Courts of the First Baptist Church of Rubidoux; Mrs. William H. Ellis of the Daughters of the American Revolution; Frank Vogel of the Jurupa Chamber of Commerce; Larry Killian, pianist; Estell Davis, soloist, accompanied by Ruby Scandell; and a number of Louis Rubidoux descendants.
(Editor's note: Through the years, the "o" in Louis Robidoux's name has been replaced by a "u", resulting in the present spelling "Rubidoux.")
The memorial ceremony will begin Sunday at 2 p.m. Following the program, refreshments of coffee and cookies will be served inside the Memorial hall where a Louis Robidoux pipe, dating back to 1810, and the 1883 wedding dress of Mrs. Frederick Rubidoux will be displayed for the first time. A daughter of Mrs. Rubidoux, Mrs. Inez M. Fairweather, resides in Colton at 466 East H St.
Girls from Rubidoux High School will serve as usherettes, wearing old-time dresses handed down from the families of both Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Rubidoux. The 1912 dress to be worn by Mrs. Alfred Rubidoux during the ceremony belonged to her mother's sister, who survived the historic Titanic disaster of Sunday, April 14, 1912, 50 years ago.
The historical Rubidoux marker was dedicated by Daughters of the American Revolution of California in 1926 with State, and National recognition and participation. In July of 1958 the bridge was demolished and the marker temporarily lost. Ut was later found buried in the earth at the bridge end. The Riverside Pioneer Historical Society requested the privilege of cleaning and restoring the marker, which has been presented to the citizens of West Riverside for proper placement and re-dedication which will take place Sunday.

The Sun-Telegram (San Bernardino, CA.), P. 14, Col. 1-6
Sun., Nov. 24, 1968
Excerpt from: Vandals Gone, Pioneers at Rest
Agua Mansa's Cemetery's Restoration a Dedication
The markers are coming back to the little cemetery on the Santa Ana.
Headstones and wooden crosses are once more rising on the graves of the pioneers.
Around the tiny plot where little Caroline Rubidoux lies, workers are reconstructing a tiny picket fence in the shape of a cradle built there long ago by loving and sorrowing hands.
Vandals no longer come to the cemetery to overturn and steal the gravestones and leave the graves littered with tin cans. Caretakers now guard the fenced cemetery.
The Agua Mansa Cemetery is now the ward of the San Bernardino County Museum. Members of the museum staff, aided by descendants of the pioneers, are restoring the old graves.
The cemetery is older than any city now in existence in the county. But no one knows the date it was started.
The men who built the cemetery were New Mexico pioneers, brought to San Bernardino in 1843 by the Lugo family. They settled at Politana near the present site of San Bernardino, then moved down the north bank of the Santa Ana the next year to form the towns of Agua Mansa and San Salvador.
The great flood of 1862 washed out Agua Mansa and the cemetery. No markers remain to denote when the first body was buried there. But historians have located the graves of Lorenzo Trujillo and Louis Rubidoux, two leaders of the band that came from New Mexico to help the Lugo family guard its fields and flocks from Indian marauders.
The little grave of Caroline Rubidoux is a mystery. No one knows who she was or when she died. Only the size of the grave and the cradle form surrounding it, tell part of the secret - that here lies a child.
Stolen markers keep turning up and are being restored to their places on the cemetery grounds. But the job of matching the markers with the graves is difficult. The pioneers kept no records and only the markers showed where they buried their dead.
Fortunately, partial records are available. In 1951, members of the Sir William Lovelace Chapter of the American Colonists recorded the names on the graves at that time.
Only a partial copy of the list remains, but it is a valuable aid to the historians now rebuilding the cemetery.
Time, wind and sand have also played the vandal within the cemetery walls. Workers with probes are locating markers covered from six inches to a foot with sand blown there by the winds of a century or more.
Active in the restoration program are Alfred Rubidoux and his wife, Ruth. Rubidoux is the great-grandson of Louis Rubidoux, and the couple lives in the town of Rubidoux, named for the old pioneer.
The grave where his great-grandfather was buried in 1868 can no longer be located, Rubidoux said.
"I can vividly remember as a small boy coming to the cemetery by horse and buggy with my grandfather, Pascual Rubidoux, and being hoisted over the picket fence surrounding my great-grandfather's grave so that I could clean out the fallen leaves from the nearby tree," he said.
The grave, as was the custom in the old days, was marked by a wooden cross within the high picket fence, he said. Fire swept the area between 1912 and 1916, and the fence and cross are no longer there to point out the grave, he said.
Fire in the early 1930's also destroyed many of the remaining wooden crosses. Others were inadvertently burned by caretakers who wanted to "clean up" the cemetery, strewn with old wooden fragments.
Markers keep turning up throughout the Inland Empire - or reappear mysteriously in the cemetery, possibly returned by vandals stricken by their own consciences. A number of others were recovered through the Rialto Police Department.
However, not all of the returned markers can be restored to their rightful places. No one knows where they belong.
"Any number of people are returning and helping us relocate the markers," Mrs. Rubidoux added.
Some of them come from as far away as Long Beach and Los Angeles, she said. Word gets to them from family grapevines, she added.
Agua Mansa Cemetery is now registered as Historical Landmark No. 121, But it must wait awhile before a bronze plaque pointing out its history is installed.
"It will be placed on the roadside outside of the cemetery," said Mrs. Rubidoux. "The question remains - at what future date will this historical plaque be safe from vandals outside the cemetery walls?"

The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA.), P. 3, Col. 1-6
Wed., Aug. 28, 2002
Inland Valley Voice page
Excerpt from: Riverside's roots planted in agricultural experiments
Last week's column followed the history of Rancho Jurupa from 1838, when it was granted to Juan Bandini, to 1847, when it was purchased by Loius Robidoux, as he signed his name.
Louis' grist mill was of great help to United States troops in the area.
There was also mention of another member of the family, Jose Antonio Roubidoux (yes, with another u), also knowns as Antoine Roubidoux. He was wounded in action during the battle of San Pascual while scouting for Gen Stephen Kearny.